My faith tradition does not have a formal creed. However, we do have what we refer to as Enduring Principles. Our website identifies them this way: “Our Enduring Principles define the essence, heart, and soul of our faith community. They describe the personality of our church as expressed throughout the world.”
These principles provide flexibility in how they are implemented in congregations in various countries throughout the world…but they are basic to who we are.
There are nine of them:
- Grace and Generosity
- Sacredness of Creation
- Continuing Revelation
- Worth of All Persons
- All Are Called
- Responsible Choices
- Pursuit of Peace (Shalom)
- Unity in Diversity
- Blessings of Community
While I think all of them are important, one that has been standing out to me over the last few weeks is “Worth of All Persons.” ALL persons.
It doesn’t matter race…age…ethnicity…culture…sexual orientation…gender identity…political stance…vocation… ALL persons.
I have been deeply disappointed and shocked by comments I’ve seen from individuals as we have been struggling with the issues surrounding the relationships between police and their communities.
I’ve been deeply disappointed and shocked by some of the responses to this administration’s decision to rollback healthcare protections for transgender individuals.
ALL people are of worth. That means all. It doesn’t depend on whether we agree with someone or not.
You don’t have to be part of my faith tradition to believe in these principles. In many ways they are an expansion of what is often called the Golden Rule–a version of which is in every major religion.
We don’t have to agree on everything. We never will–and that’s okay. We need to hear a variety of voices and perspectives. But we cannot continue believing and acting as if a certain group of people is somehow “less than” everyone else.
We will never solve the issues that are tearing us apart until we are willing to truly believe that all people are of worth. ALL people.